Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Tehran Iran 390 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh continued Monday to issue fiery statements
about Israel, which he compared to a cancer that is threatening to spread to
other parts of the body.
Rounding up a three-day visit to Iran, Haniyeh
said in an interview with an Iranian TV station that Israel remained the “main
enemy” of the Arab and Islamic world.
Reiterating Hamas’s refusal to
recognize Israel or compromise on Palestinian rights, Haniyeh praised Iran for
its “unconditional support” for the Palestinians and his movement.
stance toward the Palestinian issue is a strategic one, the Hamas leader
“Iran’s support for the resistance and the Palestinian people stems
from an Islamic commitment and belief and moral and political
Haniyeh pointed out that Iran supported the Palestinians during
Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip more than three years ago.
reality is that the Palestinians are under occupation and the Islamic Republic
of Iran has faithfully heeded their appeal for help,” he said. “Iran
never asked for anything in return for its support.”
He also denied
reports about tensions between Hamas and Iran over the situation in
With regards to last week’s Qatari-brokered reconciliation accord
between Hamas and Fatah, Haniyeh expressed hope the two sides would be able to
form a Palestinian unity government in the near future.
unity government, he said, would consist of Palestinian technocrats and would
not deal with political issues or negotiations with Israel.
unity government would focus on lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip,
preparing for presidential and parliamentary elections and rebuilding the Gaza
Strip, Haniyeh said.
On Monday, Haniyeh arrived in Abu Dhabi, where he
was received by the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin
In addition to Iran and the UAE, Haniyeh’s current tour has taken
him to Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.
Sources close to Hamas said Haniyeh may
also visit Saudi Arabia later this week.
This is Haniyeh’s second tour
outside Gaza since Hamas seized control of the Strip in 2007. Last month, he
visited Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and Tunisia.